March 20, 2019 -- Gunfighter
Gunfighter is one of the world’s most famous P-51s, having appeared on the airshow circuit and providing rides for over 35 years.
Gunfighter was built in the Inglewood, California North American plant and accepted into the USAAF (U.S. Army Air Force) in March, 1945. That month, it was shipped to England, where it was assigned to the famous 'Mighty Eighth' Air Force. In July of 1945, after the War ended in Europe, it was returned to the U.S. and assigned to various active & reserve units until it was declared surplus and sold to the civilian market in 1956.
Today, Gunfighter is operated by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF). The CAF is the largest operator of Historic Aircraft in the world with 160 aircraft and over 9,000 members. Gunfighter is restored in the colors of the 343rd Fighter Squadron, 55th Fighter Group, 8th Air Force, USAAF. The 55th Fighter Group was the first American Air Corp unit to become operational in Europe, first to fly over Berlin and was one of the units that provided top cover over the Invasion Beaches at Normandy on "D-Day", June 6th, 1944.
Gunfighter is powered by a Packard-built Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. It is rated at 1,490 HP and has a displacement of 1650 cubic inches. Top speed is over 400 mph and ceiling is 41,000 feet. Gunfighter has been modified to include a second seat where the original radio gear and fuselage fuel tank were located. This is a perfect vantage point to enjoy the ride of a lifetime in a P-51!
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